Lazarus was in the tomb 4 days when Jesus came to Bethany. Martha, God loves her and she knew that He did, she says to Jesus, If you had been here my brother would still be alive. Yes, that is true, Jesus never did a funeral. He came across death often enough, the widow in the funeral procession, her son already wrapped and ready for burial. Jesus brings him back to his mother, end of funeral. Jesus goes to the house of the leader of the synagogue, Tabitha get up says Jesus, and there she is alive and well. That is why we can say without any doubt in our minds, that Jesus, God, is the God of the living.  Jesus says to Martha, I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE! You just don’t get the message any clearer than that. Jesus said, I am the one who is in charge of everything. For I truly am the resurrection and the life. Jesus comes to the tomb, tells them to roll away the stone at the entrance. They do so, even though as Mary exclaims, Lord he has been in the tomb four days, there will be a stench.

 

 

Jesus then lifts His eyes to heaven, utters a prayer that all can hear, so all will know what is about to transpire. “Lazarus, come forth.” says Jesus, and here he comes still wrapped in the grave clothes. Jesus commands that they release him. God of the Living not of the dead, but of the living. It is necessary for us to look at this story because it applies to you and I today just as it did then to those folks who were present.

 

You and I were once like Lazarus, we were buried in our sins, for as Paul says, “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23, again in the letter to the church at Ephesus: “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins” Ephesians 2:1 That is what sin really is, it is a trap that lures you in, and then buries you in the things of this world so you can’t see or hear God calling you. As we read in John 8:34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin”

Jesus came to the tomb and called Lazarus: Called him to come out and to live. Now of course we know that Jesus will call all who are dead on the last day to rise and meet him in the air, but Jesus is also calling you and me to be alive to Him today. To be filled with his grace, and to shed the death of sin from our lives. I love the verse in Luke 7:34 where it says: “The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’” Thank you Lord that you have befriended me, a sinner destined to eternal hellfire, You have lifted me from that life of sin and death into a life of glory and hope. He calls us to walk with Him to talk with Him and to be like Him. He calls us to become children of God, brothers and sisters of Himself.

We live in a wonderful nation, we are free to practice our faith as we will, we are free to roam about as we will. However, that freedom comes with a responsibility, Jesus calls us to a work and to a life. Our freedom in this nation also calls us to justice and mercy toward our fellow man. Jesus has set us free in the Spiritual, and we also have a responsibility here too. We are to live for good works done because we love God and our fellow man. There are too many Christians who say that we need to allow the death of babies, we need to allow the poor to suffer, because Jesus said we should be tolerant of others and understand that it is a choice whether to have a baby or not. I hate to say it but I believe that God has a moral path for you and I to walk down, and it is not wrong to say that all life is sacred. That we can’t blame the unborn, for the decisions we have made. Meanwhile I want you to know, that Jesus is calling all of us today, to live, the church is supposed to be a living breathing reality. You and I are the Church, it is we who are the hands and feet of Christ today. Let acknowledge our Lord, let us realize that we are a living breathing part of the Church Triumphant. God empowers us to go and be and do all that He has for us to do.

 

 

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